Competitor intelligence for the smaller enterprise.
The practice of Competitor Intelligence is well established in the USA where it is estimated that 80% of all firms utilise it to their competitive advantage. Within the UK however, it is only gradually becoming a part of the strategic activity of large multi-nationals which have realised the benefit of “being aware”. Unfortunately, it is hardly ever mentioned within the small and medium sized enterprise (SME) sector which has so much to gain from engaging in CI. Competitor activity is a fundamental part of every market. Understanding it through CI provides opportunities for profitable growth. Lack of understanding results in an increased risk of failure. The two most commonly stated problems for SMEs are “too many competitors” and “large competitors” so it makes good sense to know what they are doing. Even the smallest attention to this area has the potential to make an immense contribution to business success. This report discusses the benefits that Competitor Intelligence can bring, where to obtain it (often inexpensively or free) and assesses how SMEs can use CI to their benefit to formulate successful business strategies. Recommendations are provided for those firms wishing to use CI in order to achieve competitive advantage through a greater knowledge of the competitive situation.
Citation:Wright, S., McNIdder, S. and Pickton, D.W. (1999) Competitor intelligence for the smaller enterprise. De Montfort University.
Research Group:Competitive Intelligence-Management Interface Teaching and Research Initiative (CIMITRI)